Location-based social networking services have attracted great interest with the growth of smart mobile devices. Recommending locations for users based on their preferences is an important task for location-based social networks (LBSNs). Since human beings are social by nature, group activities are important in individuals’ lives. Due to the different interests and priorities of individuals, it is difficult to find places that are ideal for all members of a group. In this study, a context-aware group-oriented location recommendation system is proposed based on a random walk algorithm. The proposed approach considers three different contexts, namely users’ contexts (i.e., social relationships, personal preferences), location context (i.e., category, popularity, capacity, and spatial proximity), and environmental context (i.e., weather, day of the week). Three graph models of LBSNs are constructed to perform a random walk with restart (RWR) algorithm in which a user-location graph is considered as the basis. In addition, two group recommendation strategies are used. One is an aggregated prediction strategy, and the other is derived from extending the RWR to the group. After performing the RWR algorithm, the group profile and location popularity are used to improve the effectiveness of the recommendation. The performance of the proposed system is examined using the Gowalla dataset related to the city of London from March 2009 to July 2011. The results indicate that the RWR algorithm outperforms popularity-based, collaborative filtering and content-based filtering. In addition, using the group profile and location popularity significantly improves the accuracy of recommendation. On the user-location graph, the number of users with recommendations matching the test data increases by 1.18 times, while the precision of creating relevant recommendations is increased by 3.4 times.
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